Monday, October 31, 2011

We are not costumes

As Halloween ends, think about how many racially ethnic costumes you saw. A few right? Well a recent student organization at Ohio University wanted these costumes to end. According to a FoxNewsLatino article, "Students Teaching Against Racism (STARS) posted an ad campaign called 'We're a Culture, Not a Costume,' aimed at curbing the use of racially charged costumes. Initially the posters appeared on the group's Tumblr account and were only intended for use on the university's campus."

Probably one of the smartest ad campaigns I've seen, the students have received an enormous amount of feedback (negative and positive). Where the campaign will go from here is up in the air. The student group deserves a huge round of applause of bringing awareness to not just their school, but to the nation. Sure they didn't expect the attention, but awareness is always a good thing. 

Why do we get involved?

So I may have written about this before but this past week just hit me like a 12 pack of...Miller Lite? Anyways, I sometimes have to re-ensure myself about getting involved with this community. Note: This community = Philadelphia's Latino community. And let me tell you, it's pretty nasty. Latinos who have been in the game look at you with disgust, African-Americans let you be and don't really care, and our "white" counterparts just think you're Puerto Rican. Sure this isn't the case for everyone but I have seen it at its worst.

But going back on topic, I get involved because one never knows where these professionals and organizations will take you. Currently I'm most involved with the Philadelphia Public Relations Association and the National Association of Latino Arts & Culture Philadelphia Host Committee. Pretty much taking up a lot of my time, but it expands my network; did I mention it's a lot of work? Don't get me wrong I love supporting these organizations. I never have a hidden agenda and I always stay open-minded. I get involved because in order to get anywhere in life, I have to say "yes." Then again if I had millions of dollars I could just stay at home and do nothing...maybe volunteer.

Maybe I just need to relax. The holidays are approaching and I need to concentrate on family and the people close to me. The professional life is getting more and more intense since a lot of people don't have jobs, people who do have jobs are getting so many demands and so on. Occupy Wall Street (and every other city) is putting a lot of pressure on big corporations and banks. What is to come of our future? 2012...I hope you're a little better than what 2011 brought me.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Bring it Home NALAC

Earlier today the Multicultural Affairs Congress (MAC) awarded some of the leading multicultural industry leaders. Although I wish I would have seen a little more Latino presence, it was good to see those who did show face. Anytime I enter a room I seem to place myself in a box because no one around me is the same: age, ethnicity, sex, etc. It just doesn't seem to ever make sense.

Anyhoot, I was happy to see El Sol Latino Newspaper and the National Association of Latino Arts & Culture (NALAC) awarded by MAC. It was also very heart-felt when they awarded Karin Phillips the Legacy Award for her work as a community affairs reporter for KYW Newsradio. I had the opportunity to work with her a few times and although quite the character, she had a heart like no one else.

So it's less than one year where NALAC will hold it's conference in Philadelphia. What's so special about this? Well let's start with the fact that this is the first time the conference will be held on the East Coast. That should be special enough. This year's theme, Seizing the Moment Now, is just a small glimpse of things to come. And from the looks of the 2010 conference, Philadelphia is bound to be one of the best yet. See you in a year.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

After three years, the hisPANIC still lives

Wow imagine's been three years since I started this tiny blog. I never would have imagined being pitched by PR agencies or other corporations considering I do that sometimes as well. However, you can't miss out on cool swag and excellent (tasty) samples. I'm glad I am still able to sustain this blog and at least inform one or two people of cool happenings not just in Philadelphia but all over the country. Again this blog is about us en los EE.UU. and then some. Gracias for all the support both good and bad.

And similar to last year's anniversary post, let's take a look at some great posts from the last year.
Of course there are countless other posts which pissed people off or just didn't get enough attention. Feel free to leave any feedback whatsoever. I attempt to take everything into consideration negative or positive. Here's to another year :).

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Latism takes Times Square

We are all well aware about Latinos in Social Media (Latism). From November 9 - 11, Latism will host its annual conference in Chicago, Il. And to lead up to this amazing conference, the organization will celebrate its upcoming LATISM ’11 conference with a 7,400 square foot digital billboard atop the world-renowned Reuters sign at 3 Times Square, New York City on October 28, 2011 at 6:30 pm. All pics taken during the billboard presentation will be tweeted throughout the day and then added to a collage of photos during the conference in Chicago. 

To accompany the unveiling of the billboard, the non-profit has also organized a NYC Chapter Tweetup immediately following it, which will take place at the Heineken New York City Offices. During the tweetup, several lucky winners will also have a chance to win tickets to the conference, one of the most anticipated social media events of the year. Passes to the conference vary so this would be a great opportunity to find a scholarship. Wish I could go; best of luck to everyone!

Faster than a flying chancla

YES! As BeingLatino said when they posted this photos, "They're finally figuring out how to get our attention!" And it's true. This isn't racially motivated, it's just hilarious. And like any other great idea geared towards Latinos, this comes from Texas. And it's not just the adds, when you click on Pronto Auto Insurance's website you get, "More flexible than a flour tortilla." How more Texas Latino can you get?

So will it work? My best bet is that old school immigrants will not purchase this insurance; instead their children will purchase. It's the new-age Latino which knows what exactly the above advertising means. And of course when first-generation born Latinos get the insurance, the word of mouth begins. What do you think of the above advertisement? I honestly think it's the funniest thing ever...but to be honest I don't have a car so I don't need it haha.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Highlighting Philadelphia's multicultural professionals

Ah yes the never ending struggle of our multicultural people. I'm always happy to see organizations like the Multicultural Affairs Congress (MAC) honor/award our leaders doing big things. This Thursday, MAC, which is a division of the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau (PCVB), is celebrating its 17th Annual Recognition Awards Luncheon entitled “Power, Pride & Progress” by honoring industry and community leaders for their accomplishments in support of MAC’s mission. Mayor Michael A. Nutter will address PCVB-booked multicultural convention success and highlight upcoming initiatives and big wins for Philadelphia.
  • Charisse R. Lillie, President, Comcast Foundation; VP, Community Investment, Comcast Corp.
  • David Kong, CEO & President, Best Western International 
  • El Sol Latino Newspaper (Award Recipient) 
  • Local Host Committee for the 2012 National Association of Latino Arts & Culture (NALAC) Convention 
  • Karin A. Phillips, Awarded Posthumously (Award Recipient)
This annual luncheon is the largest and only gathering of diverse hospitality professionals in the city that is dedicated to increasing Philadelphia’s recognition as a top multicultural and convention city. MAC’s annual luncheon brings together hospitality professionals from all across the region who champion its mission to promote Philadelphia as an ethnically diverse visitor destination. More than 500 people attend the yearly sold-out event.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Mom's decorating paid off

So as I sit here at the airport ob my phone I started looking at some photos I took at work. My job had a corporate contest to decorate our reception area and was my job to decorate. Luckily I had 18 years of experience because growing up mom loved doing this stuff for almost every holiday.

I went to two differnt stores and bought a whole bunch of junk. With a small gameplan I decorated to the best of my abilities. And surprisingly I received a lot of great compliments from our staff and the cleaning crew. I guess all that preparation growing up paid off :).

So if I don't win ill be pretty upset lol. Below you'll find some of the photos with poses from our intern.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The USA is one of those countries

Our home country, USA, is one of those countries we love and hate. It's one of those countries where we assume the best and expect the worst. It's one of those countries where we take advantage of everything and complain about everything else. So why not document what is not really known like the hundreds of thousands of children working "our" harvests for less than minimum wage.

THEHARVEST/ LA COSECHA brings to life the story of over 400,000 American children who are torn away from their friends, family, and school education to work demanding hours picking crops that feed America. Director U. Roberto Romano focuses on the lives of migrant farm workers Zulema, Perla, and Victor (aged 12-16) and captures how their 14 hours a day, 7 days a week on below minimum wage job requires much individual sacrifice in order for their families to survive.  

From the preview below, you can tell this will make it to everyone's TV screens. The ALMA NCLR Special Achievement Award winning movie, executive produced by Desperate Housewives’ Eva Longoria, is now available on DVD and VOD platforms. 

The Harvest/La Cosecha - Theatrical Trailer from Shine Global on Vimeo.

Grupo Niche en concierto

There's nothing like watching a band you grew up with live. Last Friday Grupo Niche performed live at Infinity Lounge in Trenton, NJ. A small venue but nonetheless, they killed it and they are clearly had one of the best performances live. Not a lot of artists can perform live but their music was on point and they sounded like the original thing. Here's to you Colombia!

Monday, October 17, 2011

A Jarritos Nation of luchadores

So today I received a very nice package from Jarritos Nation and what I thought was going to be a pack of Jarritos was more than just that. It included two wrestler figurines and a super cool luchador mask. While I haven't check their website an enclosed note mentioned they changed a whole bunch of stuff and made it more engaging; I'll have to check it out when I get home.

On a somewhat similar note I may have found my costume for Halloween. While it has been a while since I dressed up for this nonsense holiday I will have to now find a party to crash and show off my luchador costume. Thanks Jarritos Nation!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Supporting our youth for change

Early today I attended Youth United for Change's (YUC) annual awards reception. And for the first time in a long time I was blown away. Never have I heard and seen our youth so engaged in an event that it made me want to go out and advocate for them. Education is extremely important for YUC and I commend them on having the youth MC the event.The night was filled with awards, networking and ensuring a future for the children.

One of the most aspiring moments was when some of the members released their thoughts via poetry. They spoke about agism, racism, sexim among other topics. And wow they couldn't have been so much on point. They expressed their feelings in a comfortable media in an environment they are not used to. Being able to express your thoughts is important and I was happy to see this happen. Mayor Michael A. Nutter along with other council people were awarded due to their support in keeping certain schools open. After everythign was said and done, I believe everyone should have felt aspired to support education.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Congrats to the HCA winners

On Tuesday night the Hispanic Choice Awards returned to Philadelphia and what a show. A revamp of previous years, the show kicked off with a special VIP reception (with red carpet) followed by the awards ceremony. What's the difference this year? The long overdrawn out awards ceremony turned into two hours of entertainment and only six awards which included:
  • Community Advocate of the Year  -  “Impact” Award 
  • Education Champion of the Year  -  “El Futuro” Award
  • Creative Artist of the Year  -  “Vision” Award
  • Business Person of the Year  -  “Trailblazer” Award
  • Corporate Partner of the Year  -  “Alianza” Award 
  • Lifetime Achievement Award - new for 201
So who won this year? My dear friends and art inspiration Las Gallas which include Michelle Ortiz, Magda Martinez and Julia Lopez received the Creative Artist of the Year Award. Mentor (but he doesn't know) Johnny Irizarry took home the Lifetime Achievement Award and they couldn't have chosen anyone better. Johnny knows everyone and everyone knows Johnny. Congrats to all the winners and until next year! For a list of all the winners visit

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Add a little WEPA!

Because I can't stop listening to this song. Yes...I am so happy Gloria Estefan is back!

TROPICALISMO - A Hispanic Heritage Month closing

Philadelphia is clearly predominately Puerto Rican and Mexican; however, many other residents reside here from every single Latin American country. That's why I'm always happy to hear about Colombian musicians coming to Philadelphia. Almost a year ago, Bomba Estereo performed at the Kimmel Center and it was amazing.

Anyways, based in Calí, Colombia since 2007, the UK-born Will Holland has been playing under the umbrella name Quantic for over 15 years as a producer, musician, and DJ. On Wednesday, October 12th, he will be at Fluid Nightclub (613 S. 4th st. Between South and Bainbridge) for the Tropicalismo monthly to help Philly close out Hispanic Heritage Month. And for those that complain about being hungry during club hours, there will be a taco truck outside selling cheesy Colombian arepas. Clearly a win in my book.

To RSVP (and to pay the $4 cover charge), RSVP here. And if you don't RSVP, you'll be paying $7. Egh. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

A movement against domestic violence

Congreso’s Latina Domestic Violence Program, along with Verizon will be hosting a family-focused event on Friday, October 7th, 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., at Norris Square Park, to raise awareness about domestic violence in the family and community, and to promote healthy, healing relationships. Although I have never seen or experienced domestic violence, I know it's a big issue not just in Philadelphia...but in all communities.

Uniendo La Familia en la Lucha Contra Violencia”/ “Uniting the Family in the Fight against Violence,” will offer exciting activities for the whole family, including a children’s musical show and face painting, a teen art competition, salsa dance lessons and a domino competition for adults. Some of the guest speakers include State Senator Leanna Washington, District Attorney Bureau Chief Angel Flores, Pastor Emma Gonzalez and Edwin Desamour of Men in Motion in the Community (MIMIC). A very family oriented neighborhood, Norris Square Park is a perfect location to bring together the community.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Celebrating our heritage on-air

It's still Hispanic Heritage Month so everyone is still capitalizing on the fastest growing minority in the nation...but you already know that. Anyways, now and throughout the rest of the month, many cable companies and cable networks are joining together to pay tribute to the powerful and positive influence of Hispanics in America by shining a spotlight on compelling Hispanic-themed programming and movies On Demand. This positions digital cable customers just a “click away” from the history, struggles, art and food that are emblematic of Hispanic and Latino culture. This actually does sound like a positive initiative. I've learned throughout various campaigns, Latinos love seeing other successful Latinos on-air.

As partner in the effort, the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) will share information about “Hispanic Heritage Month On Demand” and the associated programming through its social media and other traditional communication channels with its more than 200,000 members.Viewers wanting to explore the cross-section of On Demand programming being offered can visit

And in celebration of the month, Fanscape is offering one lucky reader a $25 gift card giveaway to I mean who doesn't love a contest? Just write a comment below on how you celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month and a winner (chosen at random) will be announced on Friday, October 14th. Please be sure to include your contact information!

Here's an example of some of the spots airing throughout Hispanic Heritage Month:

PA becomes the 6th state to...

...introduce anti-immigrant bills. Of course. As if the Hazleton crap isn't enough, now the whole state is going after people that not just only increase in numbers, but make a difference overall. According to an Al Dia article, "Este martes y miércoles el Comité del Gobierno Estatal votará en Harrisburg un paquete de 15 proyectos de ley anti-inmigrantes liderados por el representante estatal republicano Daryl Metcalfe." So what are we to do? There's lots we can do!

One thing I just learned about today was joining the Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition at their lobby day on Tuesday, October 18 in Harrisburg, PA. It is very critical to take action now and make your voices heard to prevent the passage of Arizona-style laws in PA. The day will begin with a training before attendees break into small groups to visit with key legislators. Don't worry, all materials will be provided - just bring your passion and commitment to promoting fair and welcoming policies toward immigrants. Please RSVP here.

I'm sure in a few weeks you'll be hearing more about the proposed law. To be honest it's a shame. I don't understand how this can even be thought of after the whole Arizona hoopla. Do you think states have the right to introduce these laws? What are you doing to prevent these laws from being passed? What happens if they are passed?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

A new radio station in town

In case you are listening to AM radio, you might notice a difference in one of the stations. An all too well known, Lawyer Ken Trujillo, has bought WHAT-AM Radio 1340 and reopened it in as Spanish-language (and online) music station"El Zol" with a "crossover" format. And just in time for November sweeps. This brings three Spanish radio station to Philadelphia on AM radio. I think radio stations are good for Philadelphia's Latino community; especially those staying at home.

And why not FM radio? To be honest I don't have the answer to this question. Rumba1480 used to be on FM years ago but since then switched to the AM radio waves. The radio station I've seen in the community more often is Mega 1310, so for El Zol to come out that means competition. Friendly competition never hurt anyone right? According to a article, "Trujillo, a native of New Mexico who came here to attend Penn Law, has hired Uriel Rendon, ex of Spanish TV network Telemundo, lately of Mega radio, and consultant Art Camiolo, and a string of disk jockeys; he says he'd like to add civic programming too, including lawyer and Ceiba Inc." 

Did you know Philadelphia had Spanish radio?

Monday, October 3, 2011

Verizon makes a presence

Sometimes I wonder how businesses decide to take part in the social media world. While small organizations simply give the task to an intern, large corporations have to find the right team and/or agency to handle these operations. And I'm assuming that's what VERIZON did when today they launched their Hispanic social media properties. Starting today you can add and follow @SomosFiOS.

While there is much more content to add, the first awesome opportunity is (of course) a contest. But not just any contest. "Likers" have a chance to win a trip for two to Los Angeles to meet Ana de la Reguera, star of HBO Latino’s hit show “Capadocia,” when you like them on Facebook. The second is a Twitter party they are hosting on October 11 for Hispanic Heritage Month. The team expects a great turnout, as partygoers will discuss culture and Latino living. Five lucky guests will win cool tech prizes if/when they are the first to answer questions about HHM. Best believe I'll be at the Twitter party :).

More $$ for the arts

I am a big fan and believer in the arts. Which is why I'm happy to find out that (again) The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation is now accepting applications for the second year of the Knight Arts Challenge Philadelphia from today through Oct. 31.  The three-year, $9 million community-wide contest seeks the most innovative ideas in the arts to engage and enrich Philadelphia’s communities. And as we all know arts and culture does change communities; it's proven in some of the Philadelphia Cultural Alliance's reports.
Winning ideas in year one were selected from a field of 1,752 submissions. They ranged from yearly projects to once in a lifetime opportunities. Year one winners include:
  • Darla Jackson for Philadelphia Sculpture Gym, to help Philadelphia sculptors create their works safely by creating a “sculpture gym” where artists can use heavy-duty tools, have storage space and get one-on-one help with projects
  • Vox Populi for Spectrum, to inspire the community by offering an innovative arts series that crosses the traditional boundaries of visual art, performance, music, film, video, dance and theater
  •  Taller Puertorriqueño for Café under the Stars: Spotlighting Arts in the Barrio, to create personal cultural experiences that connect audiences across cultures by producing a series of monthly outdoor performances in the heart of Latino Philadelphia.
For more on Knight Foundation’s arts initiative and to view a full list of Knight Arts Challenge winners, visit Philadelphians can also learn more, ask questions, and share ideas on the Knight Arts Challenge Facebook page here, and on Twitter @KnightArts.